Will My Phone Work in Italy?

Dream Italia is getting closer and closer, anticipation is building, excitement is bubbling over.  I feel unprepared for the trip for some reason. You would think with over a year to be planning, that I would have all my ducks in a row wouldn’t you? You would think that, but you would be wrong.

What has currently become a roadblock for me is this whole cell phone situation. Will my phone work or won’t it?  I am on the Verizon network and I knew that they offered an International plan so I had not given it much thought. Until a few weeks ago.  I have heard from a few people that have signed up for said plan, even gone into Verizon and had them set up their phone, only to get there and guess what? No working phone.  I have read this same thing in a few forums on the subject.  All this time I was thinking, no problem, I’ll just sign up for this plan before I leave and I’ll be good to go. I need to call each of the Apartment managers once we get there. I know there are different Apps that I can use to text, or message, but I want to be able to actually talk to them when we need to. So I really need to have my phone work.

Since I am not familiar with any of this, I am becoming more confused the more that I read.  There seems to be so much conflicting information out there as well as just plain outdated information. Is my phone unlocked or locked by Verizon? I’ve been told that it is unlocked, and I’ve been told that it locked, so which is it???  It is supposed to work on GSM networks, it is Dual Band and operates at the required frequencies for Europe.  So, if it is unlocked, all I should have to do is buy a Sim card to replace the one that is in there now.  Right?

There are a myriad of companies out there offering (International) Sim cards. A ton of different options for pricing, some of which are pretty darn costly, some too good to be true with a whole lot of fine print, some plans that are just plain difficult to understand and I have visions of getting a bill that is one of the ‘astronomical bills’ that I read about. I have looked at inexpensive phones that I can buy here, and then buy a Sim card for it. I’ve been to the websites for TIM and Wind, but they are in Italian and when I have Google translate the page, well, it only does part of the page.  There is also the option of buying a cheap phone once we get there. The problem with that is, I need the phone when we arrive! As well as, there being some difficulty because of the language. And then again, with what company do I buy these from? Which one is reliable. That information also seems to be conflicting.

To say that I am extremely frustrated right now is a gross understatement! I have spent the last 3 days on line searching for information and have pretty much given up. Actually what I am very close to doing is just buying a Motorola E Global unlocked phone and getting a Sim card for it.  I put feelers about Sim cards and/or phones to an Italian Travel Blog,  Facebook, Trip Advisor and a Rick Steve’s travel forum.  I am hoping for some useful information.

I mean seriously, in this day and age shouldn’t all phones just work no matter where you are? Or maybe because I am so detail oriented I am making it more difficult than it should be? I am running out of time to be able to get something before we leave, without paying a high premium for shipping that is.



6 thoughts on “Will My Phone Work in Italy?

  1. Don’t do Verizon!!! It didn’t work for me and I ended up getting a British Telecom Call Card. I was so angry that I complained when I returned and got a refund from Verizon. My friend Barb also had problems with the Verizon package in Europe. Some friends have AT&T international and have had no problems but I suggest you wait until you hear from your sources. And don’t worry, you’re more prepared than you think.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have every confidence that you will be ready when the day comes. All your plans will come together. You are an experienced traveler. Think about all the good experiences you’re going to have as you pack your suitcase. I know you’ll have a big ole smile on your face! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rae I am not able ti give you advice as I have an Australian phone. In the past I have just bought a local Italian sim card upon arrival and put it in to a simple cell phone. Last year I did not bother to do that and only used my smart phone in WIFI spots which was perfect for me. But if you do in fact need to use it as a telephone then you must be confident that your provider can give you this service. I might add tho, sometimes we worry about things that might go wrong which really is a waste of time. You are probably OK. Good luck


  4. I can understand the frustration.If you take an unlocked phone just stop at a Vodaphone or TIM shop in the airport and get a SIM card. And you are good to go. They usually speak English and will explain it and set it up


  5. Rae, I have no doubt that you will have it all worked out. One way or another, all the pieces will come together. And what’s a true puzzle, without one or two pieces not quite in right place? It’s going to be fantastic!!!


  6. Pingback: Dream Italia | travelswithrae

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